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Low Demand For Hospitality Education Will Lead To A Shakedown In The Institution Space: Deepak Jha, MD & CEO, BCCM

Hospitality Management is an excellent career option today. Improved pay scales, 100% placement and fast promotions are auguring well for the hospitality education institute in getting student enrollments. Deepak Jha, MD & CEO, British Columbia College of Management talks about the changing scenario of the hospitality education in India. Excerpts from interview:

How do you see the emerging hospitality education scenario in India?

The emerging hospitality education scenario in India post the pandemic is fraught with new challenges. With the availability of newer and varied career options, today hospitality courses are seeing a decline in demand. We expect this trend to continue for some time till there is a change in the industry’s labour policy. We expect that this low demand for hospitality education will lead to a shakedown in the institution space as the average and below-average institutions may face a severe lack of student enrolments and be forced to shut down.

What challenges is hospitality education facing in India, and what are the solutions according to you?

The lack of demand in enrolments has crept in because of the overall negative sentiment towards the industry. This sentiment was amplified when employees overall were poorly treated by their employers during the pandemic. Almost 95% of employers let their employees bear the brunt of unemployment, because of a business slowdown. In addition to this, the prevailing poor work culture in the industry coupled with exploitative personnel management cast a shadow on the overall demand from potential candidates.

Today as all of them are facing a talent crunch and shortage of labour, changes are being made to address the key issues that employees have always felt. An attempt to migrate from personnel management to human resource management and treat employees as human capital rather than inputs into the business process is a welcome change and will have a positive impact in times to come.

Key issues of long working hours, lower pay, hire and fire, and slow career pathing from entry to management level are being actively addressed. Today, the industry is becoming better paid as talent shortage is fuelling higher compensation levels, and experienced employees are able to fast-track their careers by switching jobs and getting promotions in the process.

Many employers are shifting to 5-day working scenarios to create better work-life balance. For these aspects to take effect and percolate down, it will at least take a few more years. For now, the best way forward would be to have the industry make a concerted communication effort with society in creating awareness of these positive developments.

British Columbia College of Management (BCCM) has recently ventured into hospitality education. What new elements are you bringing into hospitality education in India?

British Columbia College of Management is taking a fresh approach to hospitality education. We have designed our courses and curriculum according to the New Education Policy, with the objective of imparting the necessary skills to our students. Our courses are grounded on the actual practices on the hotel shop floor across various departments and provide them with ample opportunities to become familiar with these practices during their internship modules. With a choice given to students to work and study at the same time, BCCM not only allows the students to acquire a degree in BBA – Hotel Management but also acquire relevant work experience even before they graduate. BCCM also has a 100% placement record with top hospitality brands in the country.

Which are the courses offered by BCCM and what is the employability potential for the student opting for these courses?

Besides the 3-year BBA in Hospitality in India, BCCM allows students to pursue an international career through its International Advanced Diploma program. Here, the students do a foundation course in India and then complete their course through a 2-year Advanced Diploma in Canada. There are 100% placements in both courses. In the Canadian program, students get a 3-year work permit and can take up a job there and move on to become permanent residents.

You said that students can opt for a 3-year work permit followed by an opportunity to get PR in Canada post-completion of an advanced diploma. Please elaborate.

Once students complete their foundation course here in the first year, they are eligible for their Advanced Diploma Program in Canada. For this, the students have to clear the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) before they apply to Canadian universities. The entire process of getting their admission and facilitating their move to Canada is coordinated by BCCM and Can Pathways, the partner entity. Upon completion of their program in Canada, students are provided with a 3-year work permit. During this period, they may apply for a Permanent Resident permit in Canada. All the above procedures are assisted and executed by BCCM and Can Pathways.

A lot of hospitality institutes with international tie-ups opened in past few years but are finding it difficult to get the required number of students. How are you going to address this issue?

One of the major reasons why few applicants come in for such programs is the perception of cost. BCCM has created a seamless procedure for deserving and interested students to receive collateral-free loans at competitive prices with easy payback, with further opportunities for students to work part-time and generate income. This income is more than sufficient to pay for their boarding and lodging. In addition to this, during their internship and vacations, students can pick up full-time jobs and get substantial income. An industrious Indian student can easily manage their loan payback in a couple of years from the time they start their career, and never cause any financial burden to their parents.

You are working with NSDC and THSC. How is this going to be mutually beneficial?

Both, the National Skill Development, and Tourism & Hospitality Skill Development Councils are working towards bridging the skill gap and are directing academic programs to become more skill oriented. Overall, this drive along with participation from educational institutions will upgrade the skill level in the country and make students more employable in the industry.

Murari Mohan Jha






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